Rep. Max Rose (D-N.Y.) became the latest Democratic lawmaker to publicly oppose the push for impeachment that has consumed some members of his party.
The Army veteran and freshman lawmaker represents the 11th Congressional District, which includes Staten Island and a portion of Brooklyn. President Donald Trump won the district by 10 points in 2016.
“For the past decade, the American people have been sending a clear and unmistakable message: End the hyper-partisanship and do your jobs. Yet, both parties have taken electoral victories as mandates to ignore that message to do what they want. It must stop,” Rose wrote in an op-ed published in the Staten Island Advance on Sept. 12.
“Republicans across the country ran on a proactive agenda in 2016: To drain the swamp, rebuild our roads and bridges, and protect Social Security and Medicare. What they did instead was pass a trillion-dollar tax cut for the very companies that created the opioid epidemic,” he continued.
“I fear the Democratic Party is now at risk of repeating a similar bait-and-switch mistake by focusing on impeachment instead of infrastructure, healthcare costs, and putting people to work with livable wages and benefits.”
“The truth is impeachment will only tear our country further apart and we will see no progress on the enormous challenges we face as a nation. Impeachment will not fix our roads and bridges or lower the costs of drugs. Impeachment will not keep our kids safe from gun violence or end the opioid epidemic. Impeachment will not improve the lives of the hardworking Staten Islanders and South Brooklynites that I fight for every day,” Rose said.
Other centrist Democrats have voiced displeasure with the impeachment effort, which leaders of the party advanced this week.
“It’s sucking the air out of all of the good stuff we’re doing,” Rep. Donna Shalala (D-Fla.) told The Associated Press, noting very few of her constituents asked her about impeachment while lawmakers were out of Washington for the August recess.
Shalala represents the 27th congressional district, which Hillary Clinton won by 20 points in 2016. The district was represented by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen for six years until she retired. Shalala was a cabinet secretary during the Bill Clinton administration and headed the Clinton Foundation before running for office.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), a Democratic presidential candidate, has also spoken out against the impeachment inquiry.
“I don’t [back impeachment]. You know, I think it’s important for us to think about what is in the best interest of the country and the American people, and continuing to pursue impeachment is something that I think will only further to tear our country apart,” Gabbard said during a recent interview.
“Make no bones about it: We need to defeat Donald Trump. But I think it’s important for our country’s sake and our future that the voters in this country are the ones who do that, and I believe that we will.”
Polls show only approximately a third of respondents supporting an impeachment inquiry. The push for impeachment was derailed by the release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report earlier this year. Mueller’s team said it couldn’t establish collusion between Russia and Trump, a theme that had been consistently promulgated by some Democratic lawmakers and media companies.